Paid Family and Medical Leave: Employer Responsibilities

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You still pinch yourself when you think about the business you’ve built and the number of employees who depend on you for their livelihoods. But what are your employer responsibilities if one of your employees needs to temporarily leave to take care of their ailing spouse?

Research shows that at least 15 million employees take family/medical leaves each year. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) at the federal level allows employees to take as many as 12 weeks off without pay to care for themselves or others. However, some states also offer paid family/medical leave.

It is important for you as an employer to understand the laws regarding paid family/medical leave. Here’s what you need to know about your employer responsibilities when it comes to this type of leave.

Let’s jump in!

The Purpose of Paid Family/Medical Leave

With paid family/medical leave, employees receive paid time off to care for a disabled or ailing loved one. This time away can also be used for bonding with newly adopted children or newborn babies.

Likewise, employees can use this time off to undergo medical treatment or even recover from serious health issues.

Which States Have Paid Family/Medical Leave

Most employees in the United States don’t have access to paid family/medical leave.

However, if your business operates in any of the following states, your employees can take advantage of this type of leave:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Washington
  • Rhode Island
  • Oregon
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • California

Each state handles their paid leave systems differently. For instance, in Massachusetts, eligible employees can take paid leave for as many as 26 weeks. Meanwhile, the number of weeks in New York is 12, mirroring the FMLA’s time off allowance.

In addition, the condition under which an employee can take time off and receive pay is subject to their particular company’s or boss’s rules. However, there are some general responsibilities that employers in the paid leave states should be aware of and fulfill.

Employer Responsibilities

Paid family/medical leave programs are generally funded by employers and/or employees.

Employers should inform their workers of the regulations and laws concerning their eligibility for paid leave. They must also withhold their employees’ paid family/medical leave contributions to their state programs. Then, they must send these contributions to the state government.

Furthermore, employers must respond to the state government with regard to employee claims related to leave.

How We Can Help

Paid family/medical leave can help your employees to more easily care for their injured or ill spouses, children, or parents. However, only a handful of states, like California, offer it. Understanding your employer responsibilities if you do business in these states is important to avoid monetary penalties, like fines.

At Valor Payroll Solutions, we’re ready to help you to tackle HR tasks like payroll, which may require withholding employee contributions for paid leave. Our goal is to help you to increase compliance.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business to thrive long term.

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Christina Hageny

President - Valor Payroll Solutions

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Christina Hageny

President - Valor Payroll Solutions

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